The indoor football season kicks off at the Westchester County Center on April 20, when the New York Streets inaugurates the County Center as its home field.
The New York Streets is the newest franchise in the National Arena League (NAL), which so far has six teams. In addition to the New York Streets, there are the Columbus Lions, Carolina Cobras, Jacksonville Sharks, Massachusetts Pirates and Orlando Predators. The Streets franchise is owned by New Rochelle residents Corey and Tamara Galloway.
The NAL came into being in 2017. Other active leagues in indoor football include the Arena Football League, American Arena League and Champions Indoor Football. Arena football, played indoors, uses fields that are 50 yards in length compared with a standard football field which has a playing length of 100 yards plus two 10-yard end zones. The arena football field is surrounded by dasher boards, the kind of boards used around the perimeter of an ice hockey rink. Teams have eight players on the field at any given time.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer welcomed the Galloways, New York Streets team members, the team’s head coach, cheerleaders and NAL Commissioner Chris Siegfried during a ceremony held on the county center’s steps on April 16. As welcoming gifts, Latimer handed out Walter’s hot dogs and guest tickets to Playland.
Tamara Galloway said, “We hope this team will not only add to the economic development of Westchester, but add to the community and bring a sense of pride. This team isn’t just a business, it’s a family and we are committed to always putting our finest foot forward. Corey and I are so humbled to be the first black owners of a professional sports team in New York and are so happy Westchester is part of that story.”
Siegfried said he’s a fan of old stadiums and old arenas. “Arena football is an intimate game, a game where the kids can come up and high-five the players in-between plays,” he said. “You couldn’t ask for a better facility here. It’s a little bit tight in there but that’s just gonna make it better.”
Arena football isn’t completely new to the New York area. In 1988, a team known as the New York Knights made its home at Madison Square Garden. The Knights only lasted one season. The New York CityHawks played at the Garden during 1997 and 1998.The New York Dragons which had been in the Arena Football League, played at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island from 2001 through 2008. They had started in 1995 as the Iowa Barnstormers.
Corey Galloway said he and his wife had been working on bringing the team to Westchester for three years and would like to be able to offer fans the opportunity to enjoy something akin to tailgate parties before the games, “Just to have something where people can commune and have a good time before the game like the classic NFL fans do.”
The Streets got off to a good start during their inaugural game on April 13 at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida, when the team defeated the Jacksonville Sharks 52-41.